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Equipping the whole person

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4 years 5 months ago #34 by 4kingdom
Replied by 4kingdom on topic Equipping the whole person
Thanks Ruth, That was a very helpful answer! Regards, Steef van 't Slot

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4 years 5 months ago #31 by ruthmwall
Replied by ruthmwall on topic Equipping the whole person
Thanks for your question. There is a chapter that unpacks this further in a book to be published this year by Regnum called Reflecting on and equipping for Christian mission. My PhD thesis is available via Institute of Education, University College London, and I hope to publish a book this year. The ideas of learning are drawn from many education theorists. For example, Knud Illeris, Peter Jarvis, Steve Brookfield, Jack Mezirow, Jane Vella...what aspect are you interested in? If you want to discuss further do get in touch.
Ruth Wall PhD, Chair IMTN

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4 years 5 months ago #30 by ruthmwall
Replied by ruthmwall on topic Equipping the whole person
Hi Steef, Thanks for your comment and question. I suspect that many trainers would share your question about how to fit in all the content within a limited time. It is what Jane Vella describes as the "how much what for when" question. Most of us try to do too much! The key questions are "How much time do I have? and, How much content can I cover?" After many years I am now convinced that this is not the best starting point if we are seeking a transformative and whole-person approach! we need to accept the reality that people get asked to train because they are subject experts. They are champions, enthusiasts, "experts" of the subject and are naturally concerned (and expected) to impart as much of their knowledge as possible in the limited time available. However, if you seek a transformative approach then this will start with the learners and ask different questions. For example, "Who are the learners? What are their concerns and questions? What is their context? How will they use (apply) this knowledge after the course? How will this course enable them to become life-long learners? How will this course help them to relate better to God, to them-self, to others, to the world?"
Here then are a few practical suggestions that might be of interest and help to make the social dimension explicit:
1. Before every course I send a short pre-course questionnaire (maximum 5 questions) to find out about the learners. From the first meeting I connect to what they have said. Even this apparently small thing (use of pre-course questionnaire) enables the educator to understand and build relationship with the learners. The educator is modelling social values such as openness, hospitality and acceptance.
2. The way the class is set out makes sure that everyone can participate - for example around tables. This is a challenge with large class sizes but there are usually creative ways to enable interaction even if it requires getting up and moving.
3. Make use of inductive methods that help adults to discover the learning for themselves. Make sure the educator is not doing all the talking. Most content that is received passively will be forgotten. People remember best what they have discovered and articulated for themselves.
4. The class is intentionally and explicitly identified as a 'community of learners'- give time to fostering a sense of community, for example, through sharing our stories, praying together, drinking coffee etc
5. Include a variety of learning tasks that will require different processes including reflection, dialogue and practical application. For example case study, small group work/discussion, role plays etc
Hope that at least sparks a few more questions!
All the best with the training.
Ruth
Ruth Wall PhD, Chair IMTN
The following user(s) said Thank You: 4kingdom

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4 years 5 months ago #28 by 4kingdom
Replied by 4kingdom on topic Equipping the whole person
Dear Ruth,

Your article was very helpful and thought-provoking, especially what you said about the social dimensions of learning. However, what do you do, when engaged (as I often am) in modular teaching? You have 1 week for a course, maybe 2 for 2 courses, always more material than you can cover, often time-consuming translations taking place, etc. I would love to become more 'socially effective' to my students than frontal classroom teaching allows. Any suggestions?

Kind greetings, Steef van 't Slot, PhD, Recruiting for Missions, NL

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4 years 5 months ago #26 by jimoharries@gmail.com
Replied by jimoharries@gmail.com on topic Equipping the whole person
Hi Ruth, Thanks for your wise responses. Some more thoughts:

Yes, deep-end has its dangers. My thought - many of the dangers are aggravated by the excessive power of Westerners (or perceived power) outside of the West. Hence I advocate vulnerable mission; put them there, but with their wings clipped!

Yes, re. ethical and legal implications and all. The question of whether missionary training is itself a simulation was very much in my mind when I was under training a few decades ago. That is: is missionary training taking an 'objective cool' look at an emotional engaged world, or is it an engaged emotional look at ... oneself, or at the engaged emotional world? I will be bold, while realising flaws in what I share: that 'cool objective' approach can work, for cool objective people. That is; for some Westerners born and raised in the West. Someone with a lot of majority world experience can already 'be suffering' from a lack of it.

A controversial example, re. truth telling. Outside of the Western world, I suggest, truth can be more 'pragmatic' than objective. So then, in a missionary training programme, which notion of truth should be adopted? Timekeeping: I like precise timekeeping, but for many people 10.00am means 'anytime before 12 noon'. That seems to tie in (in Africa at least) to African spirituality. That is to say, imprecision allows the spirit to work, kind of thing. Then we have various Englishes and their uses. Many non-western language uses, that of course transfer over when the non-westerners use English, are to do with pleasing the person one is engaging rather than stating truth (this is related to the point on truth above).

In other words, is 'Westernisation' a necessary interim step to Christian missionary training? In another sense: how much grace is extended to people who aren't 'objectively' grounded? In another sense: do we train people on the basis of the presupposition that their worldview is already influenced by Christianity (assuming that the West is so), or can we also offer training to peoples who are just meeting Jesus?

I am aware that various mission agencies are attempting to train African missionaries. There is such a college 100 miles (?) from here in Kenya near Eldoret, under AIM. How do they deal with all this? In other words: is becoming 'cool and objective' a necessary prerequisite to being trained as a missionary, even outside of the West, in extant (Western linked) missionary training programmes?

What would an 'indigenous' African missionary training programme look like? Hmm. Of course, no one simple answer! For some, the key target would be expulsion of those demons. Those who are good at expelling demons, are likely to be the successful missionaries.

Just thoughts.

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4 years 5 months ago #25 by MTN
Replied by MTN on topic Equipping the whole person
Could you please give a few books which deal with this, please?

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